Liverpool vice-captain James Milner is expected to call time on his England career following this summer’s European Championships, the Echo reports.
The 30-year-old has been a regular member of England squads since making his debut back in 2009, although he’s never established himself as a guaranteed starter – partly due to his versatility.
Milner’s played on both flanks, through the middle and even at fullback for his country, and it’s for this reason England managers have made him at automatic squad selection.
The hard worker has racked up 57 caps in total, and is a definite for Roy Hodgson’s summer squad barring injury.
Milner claims he isn’t 100% whether he’ll retire yet after the tournament in France, but intimated that he doesn’t want to be travelling round taking up a younger player’s space in the squad.
“I don’t know really, I can see pluses and minuses for both and you probably get criticised either way whichever way you take it,” he began.
“I think that is a conversation I will probably have with the manager at the start of next season.
“I don’t want to be travelling around and not really contributing and being a good tourist. I want to contribute and if the manager sees I have a part to play then great and if not it is better for me to set aside and let younger guys travel around.
“I have been in four tournaments and built up a lot of caps and a lot of experience. Travelling around now I can help the younger guys. It’s beneficial for a younger guy to come in and travel around.
“That’s a conversation I will have with the manager and see where he sees me and if I am going to take on a lesser role it is probably better for someone else to step up.”
Milner’s potential retirement probably makes sense for all parties. There’s a number of exciting young English players coming through the ranks at the moment, and it’s not as if his country would especially miss him – even if he’s been a handy, trusted squad option.
It will also elongate his Liverpool career, although his brilliant fitness and dedication to maximising his physicality will help in that respect also.